2021 ORCHESTRA HONORS PROJECT
Gary Lewis is the Director of Orchestral Studies and the Bob and Judy Charles Professor of Conducting in the College of Music at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he conducts the University Symphony Orchestra and oversees the entire orchestra program. He is also Music Director and Conductor of the Midland-Odessa (TX) Symphony Orchestra.
At CU-Boulder Mr. Lewis also leads the graduate program in orchestral conducting including both the masters and doctoral level. His former students are currently enjoying success as conductors with professional orchestras and opera companies, university and public school ensembles, and youth orchestras.
Prior to his appointment at Colorado, Lewis served on the faculties of Texas Tech University, The Ohio State University, The University of Michigan, and Abilene Christian University. He is equally at home with professional, university, and youth ensembles. He is the Principal Guest Conductor of the Boulder Philharmonic and has appeared with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Colorado Music Festival, Boulder Ballet, Midland Ballet Theater, Ballet Lubbock, the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra, the Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra, the New Symphony Orchestra (Sofia, Bulgaria), and the Western Plains Opera Theater. His work with summer music festivals has also been noteworthy including the Interlochen Center for the Arts, Pine Mountain Music Festival (opera and symphonic) and Rocky Ridge Music Center.
As a strong advocate of music education, Mr. Lewis has presented many in-service workshops for public school educators, as well as numerous presentations at state and regional music education association conferences. In addition, he has conducted All-State Orchestras and Bands in many states along with the ASTA National Honor Orchestra and the Honor Orchestra of America. In 2010 Mr. Lewis became the founding Artistic Director of the Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras and also served as conductor of the Symphony Orchestra until 2016.
Mr. Lewis is also a strong proponent of new music. He has been instrumental in the development and production of contemporary music festivals and his interest in new music has led him to collaborations with composers such as Dan Kellogg, Carter Pann, George Crumb, William Bolcom, John Harbison, Chen Yi, Michael Daugherty, Stephen Paulus, and many others.
Gary Lewis is a Yamaha Master Educator.
Dr. Mark Laycock is a Professor of Music at Wichita State University, where he holds the Ann Walenta Faculty of Distinction Endowed Professorship. He has been recognized with the WSU Excellence in Creative Activity Award and the College of Fine Arts Excellence in Teaching Award. He serves as Director of Orchestras and Coordinator of Strings. WSU Symphony Orchestra appearances under his direction include international tours to Spain and Canada, a concert at Carnegie Hall, and multiple invited performances at Kansas Music Educators Association In-Service Workshops. Dr. Laycock is a member of the Board of Directors of the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic; he serves as Chair of Orchestra Activities. He is Conductor of the Wichita Youth Symphony and Director of the Wichita Youth Orchestras Program.
His work as guest conductor, clinician, or adjudicator spans 34 states. Recent and upcoming appearances include the Bangkok International String Festival, the all-state orchestras of Florida, Nevada, Washington, and Wyoming, educational sessions at the Conn-Selmer Institute and The Ohio State University String Teacher Workshop, and adjudication in Arizona, California, Colorado, Indiana, and Oregon. Dr. Laycock served the National Orchestra Festival as adjudicator, clinician, and, in 2018 and 2019, chair of the event. His appearances with professional ensembles include the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, Wichita Grand Opera, and Opera Kansas, as well as orchestras in Slovakia and Canada. Dr. Laycock has presented clinic sessions for numerous state education conferences, as well as the American String Teachers Association National Conference, the Northwest and Northeast Division Conventions of the National Association for Music Education, and the Midwest Clinic. In May 2016, he gave professional development sessions for instrumental music educators in Brisbane, Australia, returning that September to conduct the Sir Charles Mackerras String Orchestra of the Queensland State Honours Ensemble Program. He was a Keynote Presenter for the Australian Strings Association 2018 National Conference in Perth. Dr. Laycock is a four-time invited music education panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, evaluating grant applications from institutions throughout the country. He is a chapter author for the fourth edition of Teaching Music through Performance in Orchestra.
Dr. Laycock served as Director of Orchestras and Instrumental Music at Chapman University in Orange, California, where he led invited performances for the California Music Educators Association and at Disneyland. He was also Principal Conductor of the Irvine (CA) Classical Players, leading the youth orchestra on concert tours to Italy (2006) and France (2008). Previously, Dr. Laycock was Director of Orchestral Activities at Iowa State University and Music Director of the Central Iowa Symphony. Under his leadership, the ISU Symphony Orchestra performed at the North Central Division Convention of the Music Educators National Association and collaborated with such artists as bass-baritone Simon Estes and pianist-composer Marvin Hamlisch. He began his career as an instructor of strings and orchestra at the middle and high school levels in the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada. He earned a Doctor of Arts degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Northern Colorado. Dr. Laycock holds a Master of Music degree in instrumental conducting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music history and literature from the University of Southern California.